Barcelona CEO Ferran Reverter, has quit just days after the club announced a multi-million pound sponsorship agreement with Spotify.
The 49-year-old had only recently taken over as CEO of the club last summer, but he will step down as soon as a new CEO is named.
Spotify’s three-year deal with Barcelona is thought to be worth £250 million, with the firm replacing Rakuten on the front of the team’s shirts and becoming the first brand to sponsor the club’s Camp Nou stadium.
However, as the club prepares to make an official statement about the contract, one of the guys involved in discussions has died, with rumours on the continent claiming that the Spotify deal was a factor.
“It’s been almost a year since I returned to Barcelona for family reasons, and shortly after that I accepted president Joan Laporta’s offer to become the club’s CEO,” Reverter said in a statement.
“These have been passionate months, and I applaud the president for his trust, as well as his excitement and leadership capacity, which has resulted in FC Barcelona now having a world-class executive staff capable of repositioning Barça as a world leader.”
“I have put in a lot of effort and commitment over the last several months, but now I want to focus on why I returned to Barcelona in the first place, which is to spend more time on personal and family projects.”
“Discrepancies in the choice of the new sponsor would be one of the catalysts for Reverter’s resignation, but not the only one,” La Vanguardia reports.
According to the publication, “the general director had previously had conflicts with the president.”
Although it is claimed that Reverter was displeased with the conditions of the sponsorship agreement, Barca made no mention of it in their statement regarding his decision.
“In light of the CEO’s decision, the president and his Board of Directors wish to officially express their gratitude to Ferran Reverter for his commitment and good work as CEO of FC Barcelona throughout this period,” the club said.
Barcelona praised Reverter for his contributions in a variety of areas, including lowering the club’s salary.
Since the summer, a number of high-paid players have left on loan, with Antoine Griezmann and Miralem Pjanic among those who left on loan in the summer and Philippe Coutinho following suit in January.
Barcelona were unable to keep Lionel Messi at the club due to financial difficulties, with the Argentine going to Paris Saint-Germain in August, but they have since been able to bring new additions to the squad.